Now and then (1 Cor. 13:12)

“Now we see

In a mirror dimly,

But then face to face.

Now I know in part.

Then I shall understand fully,

Even as I have been fully understood.”

βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι’ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον· ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

Paul said. “Now we see (βλέπομεν γὰρ) in a mirror dimly or in an enigmatic haze (ἄρτι δι’ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι), but then it will be face to face (τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον).  Now I know in part or imperfectly (ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους).  Then I shall understand fully (τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι), even as I am fully understood (τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι).”  Only this Corinthian letter used this word αἰνίγματι, that means a riddle or an enigma.  Paul explained that now we only see things like a bronze Corinthian mirror that had a hazy, indistinct, or enigmatic image.  However, they would come to know God face to face like Moses in Numbers, chapter 12:8: “When there are prophets among you, I Yahweh make myself known to them in visions.  I speak to them in dreams.  Not so with my servant Moses.  He is entrusted with my entire house.  With him I speak face to face, clearly not in riddles.  He beholds the form of Yahweh.”  To some he made himself known in visions and others in dreams.  However, with Moses it was different.  Moses was a special prophet, not like the others.  Yahweh spoke face to face, clearly, and not in riddles with Moses. Paul further said that at the current time, his knowledge about God was incomplete or imperfect.  However, after he would have seen God face to face like Moses, then he would have full knowledge and be fully known by God.  Paul made a clear distinction between the present time and the future eschatological end times with an eternal God.  Do you long for the day when you see God face to face?

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